Thursday, December 6, 2012

Japan 5th Day - Tsukiji, Tonki and the Best Senbei Ever

Rain, rain, rain. Very early in the  morning on our 5th day, with the sun barely risen, me and Les set off for Tokyo in the . . .  rain, rain, rain.  Except for one kink, where a cocky guy at the JR ticket counter erroneously told Les that there was no bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo (say what?), everything went smoothly.

Thanks to Google Maps' street view we found our small hotel in Shin Okubo with no problem.

With check-in time hours away, we left our luggage at the hotel and caught the subway train to Tsukiji.

It was pretty much pouring so picture taking was kinda hard.


Despite the rain a lot of people were eating at these outdoor counters.


Anybody know what this is? And why are the bottles upside down?


We decided to stop for lunch at this place.

Les had some sushi.

I had this tempura.  It was good, but totally not what I was expecting . . . didn't know it was gonna be all chopped up.

After Tsukiji we caught the subway train again and headed to the basement level of Nihonbashi's Takashimaya Department Store.  Of all our Need-To-Buy-In-Japan things, this was probably the easiest one to find.  It is the best "kakimochi" ever.  Click here to see what I'm talking about. If you go to Japan and if you have extra space in your luggage, make sure you bring some back as omiyage. Your friends and family will love it.  And if it's raining, they'll waterproof your package like this to protect it.  Isn't that awesome??!!  I still haven't opened up my one package that I didn't give away.  I'm saving it for last.

We finally headed back to our hotel at around 3:00 p.m., checked in, unloaded and rested up.

Les had been looking forward to eating some of the best tonkatsu in the world at Tonki Restaurant near the Meguro Station, so despite the POURING BUCKETS RAIN, we decided to go check them out for dinner.  There is an excellent review with more pictures here.  If you go there, make sure you know what you want to order ahead of time 'cause more than likely they'll ask you while you're still waiting in line.  And miraculously, no matter where you get seated you'll get the correct order.



It was even more ono than I expected.  Even the miso soup and rice were gooood.  One thing I didn't understand was the all-you-can-eat cabbage.  AND the people were eating um all up and getting it replenished, including Les.  Isn't cabbage just decoration?

Here's another look . . . just because it was so good.

I have no idea what part of Tokyo is coming up next.  I forget.  It's on my other "might-still-have-virus-just-use-for-photos" computer, and I lazy go check.  I probably won't put up the pictures tomorrow though.  Although I'm pau with post processing last weekend's Christmas card pictures, I gotta work on decorating a gingerbread man for a contest at work. We're supposed to decorate it reflecting what interests each one of us in particular.  Mine going be so lame . . . still dunno what I going do.  Somebody like do um for me?  It's due next Monday.  I gotta bake chocolate chip cookies this weekend.  I'll give you some.  Ho Ho Ho . . . . . NNNOOOOTTTT!!!  It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . . NNNNOOOOTTTTT!!!!!


Anonymous said...

those upside down bottles have shoots from ginger...tastes like the shoga you get with sushi but some of these shoots are fibrous. I don't know why they're upside down.
Also, looks like you guys never went into the convenience stores to eat oden and onigiri? Miss out!!

Leslie's pics said...

Scrooge! Can't wait to see your mini-me gingy man. Thanks for making me hungry for tonkatsu now :( Don't know when i'll get to eat there again...

K and S said...

dunno why the bottles are upside down, but they are pickled ginger, used to cleanse the palate when eating fish. THAT senbei IS the best ever, I always buy it for my mom whenever I go back to Hawaii. at tonkatsu places they give you "re-fills" on cabbage because (I think) it is supposed to help with digestion :)

Kalin's Mommy said...

You need to try Kimukatsu in Waikiki, they have the best in Hawaii along with the all you can eat cabbage! Awesome pics as usual!

jalna said...

Hey Vicki! We did get to eat a lot of onigiri, mostly on the run. No oden though . . . maybe next time. Ginger shoots? Sounds interesting.

Les, try check out Mich's comment. Have you been there?

Oooh Kat, your mom scores! Lucky! It seems so weird to me about the cabbage.

Thanks Mich. You know all the good eating places!

Leslie's pics said...

Yah I've been to kimukatsu a couple of times but I like Tonki better...I think Tonkatsu Bairin is closer to Tonki but I think I just like the feeling of being in Japan and eating katsu at the counter with the old man scolding me because I don't know what I want to order :)

jalna said...

I'm curious Les. Gotta do tonkatsu taste testing too now.

Dd said...

Baby ginger.....I had some at a Shirokiya fair...long time ago..

Leslie's pics said...

I'll be happy to go with you!!

Susan said...

I feel like I went to Japan with you except can't taste all that yummy food. Don't you want to dress up your gingerbread lady as a photographer? Lol

Randism said...

more fantastic pictures; arigatooooooo!

Anonymous said...

Hey other Jalna, I found your hello kitty keychain thingie. Its not exactly the same but pretty close with some sparkly things added to it. I got one for you and Leslie.


jalna said...

That's so interesting Didi!

I'll let you know if I ever go Les.

Thanks Susan. I finished the gingerbread man. I just got some old photos of coworkers and made it into my clothes and glued it on.

Thanks Rand!

Awwwww Kevin, THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

Just saw my post above.... Not -other- but hey there.

Stupid autocorrect....
Typing on this little screen is hard.


jalna said...

Funny Kevin! I knew that's not what you meant, but couldn't figure it out. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I found your Japan travelogue by accident, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your photos capture the true spirit and excitement of the scenes. The food looks oishii too! Best, W. Au.

jalna said...

Thanks W. Au!! I've been so enjoying your posts too! Please do keep blogging!

Nippon Nin said...

The tonkatsu looks wonderful! Memo to myself - Go to Tonki restaurant in Meguro. This post is an another fun post! I enjoyed it very much.

jalna said...

Awww, thank you Akemi. I hope you do get to try out Tonki.